BOZAR, Brussel’s Centre for Fine Arts, strives to be the institute open to all kinds of arts and all kinds of people. Framing its mission as one of cultural acceleration, BOZAR invites public input to enhance the visitor experience and spark joint cultural production. Under this model, the concept of audience is replaced by participants. But what can be said about the educational and economic value of this model?
BOZAR’s participation model works to a “new collecting” model, which gathers and highlights stories from the audience in a process of co- curation. This model has been exercised through three steps:
Develop an internal definition to underline all steps of the participation strategy: “Participation is a unifying philosophy that brings together marketing, education and artistic programming in common service of maximizing impact.”
Know your audience segments’ relationships to your institution:
- Audience by habit: the ones we have already. They pay, attend,subscribe etc.
- Audience by choice: the ones without the custom, opportunitiesor resources to participate
- Audience by surprise: the ones who wouldn’t even think to behere. These are the ones who can make the difference, with them you diversify your audience !
Target your actions to each audience:
- Widen: attract more of the profiles you already have
- Deepen: enhance the experience to build from occasional relationships
- Diversify: extend to those of different socio-demographic profile, include those with no previous contact with your offer. BOZAR has erected ephemeral community spaces on the grounds to draw in unexpected audiences, featuring a skatepark, a pool, play equipment, and more.
Set your goals – you can’t do everything, so choose less and address them better
Set rules and plan – respect the time and resources good participation strategies require
Get everyone on board – internally before going out and finding external partners
Measure the impact – you need to know what you did
Keep the conversation going – if you brought a new audience in, build on them!
Celebrate wins – with everyone who contributed